New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 8, 2011, New Braunfels, Texas
61 Friday, July 8,2011 | herald-zeitung.com‘Smile and be happy. Laugh. Laugh. Don’t dwell on this.’U.S. Marfne Corps Lance CpI. John F. Farias In a letter he wrote to his frtend, Chris Serna, to be read In the event of his deathFARIASContinued from Poge
wrongs he miiy have done them. He thanked friends and family for being friends and family, Farias lauded his parents, Penny and Felix Farias.
"I couldn't ask for better parents and now that I'm gone," Serna read, "I'll be watching over you."
He joked around, and he told everyone to get past his death and rejoice in life: "Smile and be happy," Farias wrote. "Laugh, l augh. Don't dwell on this."
Farias, 20, of New Bfauntels, was shot and killed lune 28 during combat in Helmand province, Afghanistan. His family l)rought his body home Wednesilay to a hero's wel-(ome with thousands of people lining the streets trom New Braunfels Municipal Air[)ort through downtown and on over to Zoeller Funeral Home on 1 anda Sfrt^'t,
Another friend, Lark Miller, said she met Farias about seventh ^^radc*, and thev remained friends into fheir post-high school years. She liked Farias and enioved his company, Miller ‘»aid.
"When you go to college, vou realize who vour tnends are. When you come back, vou know who \'ou wanna see," Militär said )ust betöre sobbing, A\nd then, through tears and sniffles, she said, "Now when I comc* back to New' Braunfels, I'm gonna wanna see lohn — and he won't be here."
Most at the funeral remembered Farias as a [)erson who always had a smile on his tace and a laugh on his lips. His aunt, judy Farias Ciauthier, said he had lx^‘n that way since he was small.
Felix Fanas, center, puts his face in his hands during Thursday's funeral service for his son, Lance Cpl. John F, Farias
Riotos by LALWA McKENZIE | Herald-Zeitunq
Farias Gauthier said she was in the delivery room when Farias was born. He was coming out feet first until shc‘ prayc^d for a mira-clc*, Farias Gauthier said.
"I believe in miracles, That da\ I praved and put my hand on l\‘nny's stomach," <<he said. 'And (jod flipped him <md he was born )ust as he was sup-f)osed to be,"
Farias' pastor Tre(> ot I ife Senior Ristor Don Duncan, officiated the services. He said the Marine's family thankc’d the communitv tor the out[)ouring of support. Duncan callc'd Farias a "belovc‘d hometown hero."
Farias was a hero to many, Duncan said. He said I anas wc>nt from lite-
guard to Eagle Scout; from the f(K)tball field to the battle- field; and from wc^aring i .inyon High School's red and white uniform to representing the United States' rc'd, white and blue as a Marine.
He told the mourners not to suffer, but to believe the ht'ro is now in a better [)lace.
"Hold onto the fact that |ohn unseltishlv gave his life for his country," Dun-c an said. "Hold onto the fac t that john went to live with his lord and Savior."
lust as Farias had rode into New' Braunfels for the last time, so did he ride out.
A proc cession numbering scores of vehicles passed
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grateful onlookers lining 3()th sides of Interstate iS heading away from the church. Mothers, fathers, children and friends wavc^d flags, held placards and saluted the long line of mourners.
First responders from neighbc >ri ng mu n icif )alit les along the 1-3.S corridor [)arked emergency vehicles on the sides ot the highway tC) get a final glimpse ot Farias' procession to Fort Sam Houston National (Cemetery in San Antonio.
Farias was put to rest with full military honors: Taps [)layc*d, and the Amer-ican flag was folded and presented to his mother.
After Duncan said more words ovc‘r Farias' Ixxly, he Ic'd everv'one in a rendition of "Amazing Grace." Then SIX Marine's carried the gray casket with silver embellishments to a hearse.
Farias' friends - young and old, but mostly young — milled around as his parents received well wishers. Some talked and smiled.
jacob Hiracheta, 19, of Nc'w Braunfels, remmisctd with a group of friends. Hiracheta said he played soccer and footba I with Fanas for years. He remembered the last time Farias was home, they "chilled" together.
Farias would do anything to make others smile ancl laugh, Hiracheta said.
He said Serna's reading
Chris Serna shares a letter Lance Cpl, John F Farias wrote to be read in the event of his death to the congregation at Thursday’s funeral service at Tree of Life Church.
of Farias' joke-fillc^d letter at the church was ty[)ical.
"It was a serious situation, yet he (Farias) made everybody laugh," Hiracheta said. "That's lohn."
Before he read that letter, Serna spoke briefly about Farias being his "little brother." He said they started out as knee-high pre-first-graclers "fighting over
which Pokemon was the best" and grew to "who would danc e with the most girls" at a nightspot.
But through it all, Serna said, john F. Farias always laughed.
"lohn's favorite thing was to laugh," Serna said. "If everyone can have a laugh instead of cry, john will live on forever."
A woman mourns at the casket ot Lance Cpl. John R Farias as friends and family say goodbye to the fallen Marine Thursday at Tree of Life Church,NBU
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